Nespresso Machine Not Working

Nespresso Machine Not Working

The Nespresso machine is a great way to get barista-level espresso drinks right in the comfort of your home. There are a variety of Nespresso machines, from the most simple to ones with all the bells and whistles. 

Unfortunately, however, occasionally, your Nespresso machine might stop working. In many cases, there may be a minor fix to get your coffee machine back in working order. 

History of Nespresso

The story of Nespresso began 30 years ago with its founders. They had a goal of creating a machine that would allow anyone to develop barista-level espresso right at the time. Not everyone has the time, equipment, or skill to make homemade espresso, so they wanted a more straightforward way. 

The first Nespresso machine was created in 1986. This tiny espresso maker was compact enough to fit comfortably on a countertop. At the same time, they also released a standard coffee maker and four brands of signature coffee. 

Over the last thirty years, they have continued to innovate their espresso machine to make it easier, smaller, and better at making the best at-home espresso. The devices have since expanded to make more styles of drinks, even including milk-based espresso drinks. 

Common Signs that the Machine Requires Maintenance

So long as you keep a regular maintenance schedule, you should have little to no problems with your Nespresso machine. Thankfully there are some common signs that you may be due for a bit of maintenance before anything breaks down. 

The first sign you need to maintain your machine is that it looks dirty. Nothing will make your Nespresso machine break faster than if coffee grounds are all over it. 

Old coffee and grounds can cause havoc in a few different places. First, the coffee grounds can get caught in the machine’s mechanisms, causing it to clog and break. Second, old coffee and grounds can cover the barcode reader of the machine. The bar code reader is needed for the device to function as it will give the machine instructions on making the specific drink you want. 

Another sign that maintenance is needed soon is any changes in the coffee quality or device performance. Over time you may notice the water coming out slower. Or perhaps it’s not as hot as it once was. These are all signs of needed maintenance. 

Descaling removes any mineral build-up from within your machine. Water coming out slower may signify that your Nespresso machine needs descaling. Another sign you need to descale your Nespresso machine is if the orange light flashes thrice in one second. 

A pulsing light means the machine is too hot and needs time to cool down. On that note, your Nespresso machine is programmed to flash its light in a specific sequence if maintenance is required. Two flashes, for example, mean the device needs cleaning. Three means that it needs descaling. 

Common Problems and Troubleshooting

Diagnosing and rectifying your Nespresso woes is achievable for any DIY-minded individual.

Coffee Tastes Metallic or Bitter

The most common reason for your coffee starting to taste bitter is that the machine itself needs cleaning. Over time as you use your Nespresso machine, oils and residue from your coffee will build up in the machine’s interior. Nespresso’s inner workings make it impossible to clean the brewing chamber by simply flushing water through the system. 

The first step in cleaning your Nespresso machine is to dispose of any old pods. Use a damp paper towel to clean off the exposed areas. 

Next, get a cleaning capsule. There are several different ones, but you can take this one from Caffenu as an example. Run your machine as you usually would with the cleaning capsule in place. With the cleaning capsule, the water fills the brewing chamber as it would with a normal brewing cycle. The result is the entire brewing chamber can be effectively flushed out.

Another factor in the taste of your coffee is that the machine may need descaling. Minerals can build up inside your device over time from the water you use, adding a metallic taste to your coffee. To amend this, simply descale your machine regularly. 

Leaks in the Capsule Area

When your machine is working correctly, the teeth of the piercing plate can poke holes into the capsule and allow the pressurized hot water to run through it. 

Over time, the piercing plate gets covered in old coffee grounds and stale coffee, making it less effective at piercing the pod. The water cannot go into the pod as intended and instead leaks out of the machine. 

Luckily this is an easy fix. Simply turn off your machine and remove any pods left inside. Open up the head of the Nespresso machine and use a damp paper towel to wipe away any old coffee grounds from the piercing plate. 

This alone should do the trick. Once you turn the machine back on, you could run a flushing cycle just to get anything else. If you want to be extra thorough, you can use the above cleaning capsule to help fully clean the brewing area. 

Coffee Pour is Slow

If the coffee is pouring slowly, it is a sign that the machine is clogged. 

As you use your machine, the old coffee grounds and coffee oil buildup can form a kind of sludge inside the brewing chamber. Not only can this make your coffee taste horrible, but it can also stop the water from flowing out properly. 

As with the other times when the machine needs cleaning, your best bet is to remove the old capsule, wipe everything down with a damp paper towel, and run the Nespresso with a cleaning capsule in place. This should clear away that old sludge and gunk and have your machine running perfectly again.

For best results, run the machine once with the cleaning capsule, and run it two more times just to flush water through the system to get any last stubborn bits of debris in the way of the water line. 

The Temperature Gauge is Broken/Coffee is Cold

If your machine starts producing cold coffee, a couple of things might be able to fix this. 

The first option is to descale your machine. Mineral build-up can stop your Nespresso from obtaining the correct water pressure to make that hot water you need. It is best to descale on a schedule so that your machine is always running smoothly. 

If that’s not working, you may need to recalibrate the pressure of your machine. You can do this by running the Nespresso five times with just water.

If all other methods fail, you may need to factory reset your machine. Depending on the model of the Nespresso machine you own, there are two ways to do this. Either you can press and hold the button on your Nespresso for five seconds, or you can press the button five times within 3 seconds to trigger a factory reset. Be sure to look at the manual for your particular machine to see which method it is for you. 

The Milk Container of Blocked

Some of the Nespresso machines have an integrated milk container used to add milk or milk foam to your espresso drinks. Sometimes this container gets blocked, stopping the milk from being added. 

When this happens, there are two ways you can try to fix it. One, remove the milk from the machine and run the Nespresso through a descaling cycle. If there is any build-up within the coffee machine, that should clear it. 

Second, ensure you run the clean function every time you use the milk with the machine. The cleaning function prevents a build-up of old milk inside of your device, which can spoil and potentially make you sick. 

If either of those options works, then you can take all the parts of the milk to assemble off of your machine and let them soak in warm soapy water until the milk residue comes off. You can give everything a good rinse and put it back on the Nespresso machine. 

The Light is Not Turning On or is Flashing

The light is an excellent indicator of what is wrong with the machine or what it is doing. 

If it’s not turning on at all, then be sure that the machine is plugged in and the outlet is working. You may have to plug other devices into the outlet to check this.

If the light is flashing, pay attention to the pattern. A pulsing light means the machine is too hot and needs time to cool down. A blink every 1.5 seconds means that the machine is out of water. Two blinks indicate that the device needs cleaning. Three blinks mean that it needs to be descaled. 

When you notice a flashing light on your machine, look at your manual to see what the light pattern, in this case, means. 

Tips to Maintain the Machine

Performing regular maintenance will dramatically reduce the number of problems you will experience with your Nespresso machine.


Descaling is an essential step in the maintenance of your machine. Water will leave mineral deposits inside your device that will build up over time. For best results, descale your machine on a regular schedule to keep it permanently running its best. You can get descaling kits from Nespresso

Factory Reset

There are some cases where a factory reset may be necessary to fix your machine. Hold the button on your device for 5 seconds, or press it five times in 3 seconds. Check your manual for what method your particular Nespresso machine uses. 

Get Rid of Air Pockets

It is straightforward to get air pockets out of the Nespresso. Start by removing the old pod and closing the machine. Run the long pour function on your coffee machine with just water. The hot water over the long pour will force any air bubbles out. Repeat if necessary.

Scrub the Needle Regularly 

As mentioned above, old coffee grounds and oils can clog your machine. To reduce the frequency of full cleanings, remember to wipe down your machine’s needle to keep the water flowing freely and reduce build-up. 


Should you ever come across an issue with your Nespresso, hopefully, this article will give you a simple solution on how to fix it. That way, you can return to making great coffee at home in no time. 

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